Prof. Poh Kam Wong

Advisor, Singapore

Wong Poh Kam is Professor at the NUS Business School where he teaches entrepreneurship and innovation strategy with a special focus on Asia. He is also Professor (by courtesy) at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the Faculty of Engineering at NUS. He has published extensively in leading international refereed journals on entrepreneurship and innovation, and has consulted widely for international agencies such as the World Bank, OECD and Asian Development Bank, various government agencies in Singapore, and many private corporations in Asia.

Besides his academic position, he was concurrently the Director of NUS Entrepreneurship Centre from August 2001 until July 2019, where he designed, developed and directed several experiential entrepreneurship education programs, including the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) program, the NRF-funded National Lean Launchpad Program on technology commercialization for professors and graduate students in the four leading universities in Singapore, and the annual NUS Enterprise Summer Program on Entrepreneurship. He also advised the NUS Enterprise CEO on the strategic development of NUS Enterprise Incubator (NEI) program, including Block71 in Singapore, Indonesia, Suzhou and San Francisco. He initiated [email protected], the largest annual business plan competition in Singapore (1999-2012), the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia, the largest annual social entrepreneurship competition in Asia (2013-18), and the Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge (2018-19). He also initiated and co-chaired the Port Innovation Ecosystem Re-imagined (PIER71) program, a joint initiative of NUS Enterprise and the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore (2018-).

An entrepreneur who co-founded three companies prior to joining academia, he has been an active angel investor with investment in over a dozen high-tech start-ups in Singapore, Silicon Valley, China and India. He was the founding chairman of Business Angel Network (Southeast Asia) and Asia Business Angels Forum (ABAF). He received the Public Administration Medal (Silver) Award from the Singapore Government in 2013 for his contribution to education in Singapore, and the "Entrepreneur for the World" Award (Education Category) from the World Entrepreneurship Forum in 2015.

The key thing about entrepreneurship is this mindset to look out for opportunities, and a set of personality traits and skills that allow you to convince people, whether it be a venture capitalist or a programmer working for Amazon, to join you in your start-up.